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tv   Meet the Press  MSNBC  November 11, 2013 4:00am-5:00am EST

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. this sunday, two news making one-on-one interviews. exclusive secretary of state john kerry on the failure to reach an agreement with iran. plus, new jersey governor chris christie. >> maybe the folks in washington, d.c. should tune in their tvs right now, see how it's done. >> is his landslide in new jersey the first to his presidential run and will he be the savior for a divided gop? plus, how obama care has some democrats running scared. >> i am sorry that they are in
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this situation based on assurances they got from me. >> the question of confidence in the president has the round table talking. with us this morning, best selling authors all with new books, joe scarborough, historian doris kerns goodwin, plus, donna edwards of maryland. and harry smith with his video essay on the meaning of gettysburg on the anniversary of lincoln's celebrated speech. i'm david gregory, all that ahead on this edition of "meet the press" for sunday, november 10th. >> announcer: from nbc news in washington, the world's longest running television program, this is "meet the press." good sunday morning. no deal, three days of negotiations in geneva failed to produce an agreement to freeze iran's nuclear program in exchange for relief from
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crippling international sanctions. although all sides pointed to progress, rouhani this morning insisted his country will not give up the right to enrich uranium. that is the critical step in the production of nuclear weapons. prior to rouhani's comments, i spoke exclusively to secretary of state john kerry moments after the talks had ended. secretary kerry, welcome back to "meet the press." >> thank you. good to be with you, david. >> the bottom line goal here is to prevent iran from producing or acquiring a nuclear bomb. you have said that in the interim you want a complete halt on their weapons program. clearly, there's not a deal yet. they are not in a position to give into that demand. is that a fair statement? >> no. i think it's a question, david, of working out the modalities by which it will be done, by which it can be verified, the ways in which you have a set of guarantees that make absolutely
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certain that the goal of the president, to make certain iran never has a nuclear weapon can be achieved. the first effort is to try to achieve it, obviously, peacefully, and you try to use an exhaust diplomacy in order to do that, but the president has taken no option off the table. >> it sounds like something broke down here, you were very close to a deal. the reporting is the french thought it wasn't tough enough on the iranians, and you know the history. as the israeli prime minister called rouhani a wolf in sheep's clothing, they double play, play for time while they try to win the confidence of the west and they can play games. is that what there's fear around the table they are doing now? >> no, that's not the fear around the table, i think a number of nations wanted to make sure we had the tough language necessary, the clarity in the
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language necessary, to be absolutely certain that we were doing the job and not granting more or doing something sloppily that could wind up with a mistake. this is serious business. and i think every country came there. this is the first time that the p-5 had come together with this kind of a serious set of possible options in front of it, with a new iranian government. remember that this has changed since the election. this is a new overture, and it has to be put to the test very, very carefully. so i think there was unity there, david, with respect to getting it right. and we always said, president obama has been crystal clear. don't rush, we're not in a rush, we need to get the right deal, no deal is better than a bad deal. and we're certainly adhering to that concept. >> let me play you a comment that i think gets to the ultimate question of what does it mean to get it right? what is the bottom line demand of the united states? the israeli prime minister
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benjamin netanyahu has been out spoken about this this week. he was on this program late last month, and this is what he said about the prospect of a deal with iran. i want you to listen and i'll get your reaction on the other side. >> i think the pressure has to be maintained on iran, even increased on iran until it actually stops the nuclear program, that is, dismantles it. i think any partial deal could end up dissolving the sanctions. a lot of countries are just waiting for a signal to get rid of their sanctions regime. >> so a couple of points there. you want them to stop their weapons program. others, like the israeli prime minister saying, no, they've got to dismantle their infrastructure before they get the kind of economic relief that is part of this deal. >> well, i'm not sure that the prime minister, who i have great respect for, knows exactly what the amount or the terms are going to be, because we haven't arrived at them all yet.
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that's what we're negotiating. and it is not a partial deal. let me make that crystal clear as i have to the prime minister directly. it is a first step in an effort that will lock the program in where it is today, in fact, set it back while one negotiates the full deal. and there will not be a relaxation of the pressure. you know, nobody has talked about getting rid of the current architecture of sanctions. the pressure will remain. there will be, hopefully, if this is arrived at, a means of absolutely guaranteeing that while the negotiation on the real end game takes place, iran's program is not going to continue, is not going to grow. it seems to me that israel is far safer if you make certain that iran cannot continue the program.
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now, every day that we don't have it, they're continuing it. so i think the american people, and most people in the world, want the president of the united states with the awesome power that we have to exhaust all the diplomatic remedies before we resort to the use of military force if we have to. that option is not off the table. nothing is off the table, david. >> but here's the question. if the only reason they're coming to the table now is because they feel the economic pain of sanctions, it's not just the israelis, it's the saudis, it's republicans in congress who have said -- if that's the only reason they're coming to the table, what's the rush? why not increase that economic pressure so you get not just a halt but actually get a dismantlement of the architecture which is the goal the president seeks? >> because the president believes, as i do, that the pressure exists today, which is why they're willing to negotiate. i mean, look, i was there and i voted for these sanctions. we voted for these sanctions in order to bring around to the negotiating table. now that they're there, you have to act in some good faith in an
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effort to be able to move towards the goal you want to achieve. if, as their act of good faith, they freeze their program and allow us absolutely unprecedented access to inspection and do other things -- i'm not going to go into the list. but if they do the things we believe is necessary so that we can guarantee we know what is happening and we can move it back while we negotiate the end game, it seems to me you've got to do something that indicates your good faith. now, the president has made it clear, he will not reduce or change the overall core architecture of the oil sanctions, banking sanctions. iran will still be under enormous pressure precisely to complete the task. i think there is a lot of hype and an awful lot of speculation about what is going on here when all that is happening is an effort through the sanctions congress put in place to get negotiations when those
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negotiations hopefully produce an actual result. that's what we want to have happen. >> as america's chief diplomat, are you being skeptical enough about a man who has been called a wolf in sheep's clothing, who wrote a book in which he talked about how they can continue work on their nuclear program while they gain confidence of the west, basically played games with the west? are you being skeptical enough? >> david, some of the most serious and capable expert people in our government who spent a lifetime dealing both with iran as well as with nuclear weapons and nuclear armament and proliferation are engaged in our negotiation. we are not blind, and i don't think we're stupid. i think we have a pretty strong sense of how to measure whether or not we are acting in the interests of our country and of the globe, and particularly of our allies, like israel and gulf states and others in the region.
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we are absolutely determined that this would be a good deal or there will be no deal. now, that's why it's hard. that's why we didn't close the deal here in the last couple of days. because we are together, unified, pushing for things that we believe provide the guarantees that israel and the rest of the world demand here. but one thing is clear, is that, you know, we're not going into a full deal and giving away something. we're talking about stopping their program where it is with enough guarantees to know that it is, in fact, stopped where it is while we then negotiate the full measure of the deal with our allies, with our friends, with all of the interested parties, advising at the table, consulting, and their interests well represented. >> there is a broader criticism that goes beyond this that no doubt you've confronted in your extensive travels throughout that region. let me sum it up this way. it amounts to this criticism
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that the president appears reluctant to exercise power on the world stage. it's not just israel, it's egypt, it's saudi arabia. there is a feeling that the u.s. has abandoned critical friends in that region, in part because you're moving toward a deal with iran which could provide them tremendous economic relief when at the same time critics would say their major client, syria, has gotten a pass to murder their own people as long as they don't use chemical weapons. so that all of this is amounting to this reluctance to really exercise u.s. power. that is my description of that criticism, and please respond to it. >> well, let me respond very directly to it, david. i couldn't disagree with it more. the president of the united states made his decision. he decided to use military force in syria. he also made a decision to respect the requests of many members of congress to come to them.
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and guess what? when he did, it was the members of congress, as you know better than anybody, who bought very significantly with the exception of the foreign relations committee of the united states senate which took the lead, but the house clearly indicated a very, very strong reluctance to be engaged. the president, before he had to make a decision of whether or not he would use force, anyway, succeeded in getting an arrangement with russia to remove the chemical weapons altogether. that would never have happened, that deal would never have come about if the president had not made his decision to use force. the president used force in libya. the president has been willing and made it clear that he is prepared to use force with respect to iran's weapon, and he has deployed the forces and the weapons necessary to achieve that goal if it has to be achieved. let me just finish. the president has continued in afghanistan. he has sought a security agreement in afghanistan that is in the throes of being agreed on.
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it will continue american presence to complete the task in afghanistan. we can't let mythology and politics start to cloud reality here. this president has made it clear. he's also the president who has prosecuted al qaeda with an intensity and terrorists generally with an intensity unprecedented and way beyond the last administration. >> mr. secretary, final question before you go. you gave some comments in light of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy to nbc news that have now been widely broadcast and reported on. and in those comments, you said this. to this day, i have serious doubts that lee harvey oswald acted alone. that certainly would be surprising to a lot of people that those were your views. would you care to elaborate? >> no. i just have a point of view. and i'm not going to get into
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that. it's not something that i think needs to be commented on and certainly not at this time. >> do you think the conspiracy theory is his involvement with russia a motivation from the soviet union or cuba are valid at some level? >> david, i'm not going to go into it. it's inappropriate and i'm not going to do more than say it's a point of view that i have, but it's not ripe or worthy or appropriate for me to comment further. >> all right, mr. secretary. we thank you for your time very much. >> thanks. joining me now, the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee, bob corker of tennessee. senator, it's good to have you here because the subject is iran, and the president of iran -- >> there's no volume. >> -- saying this morning -- we might have some audio difficulties. senator, can you hear me okay? senator, are you able to hear me? we'll work on that as i set up the premise here, which is the question of what the senate is ultimately going to do on sanctions. senator, are you with me one
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last time? >> i'm not hearing david for some reason. >> we're going to take a break, get this ironed out, be back, we hope, with senator corker right get thi[ female announcer ]k, we we give you relief from your cold symptoms. you give them the giggles. tylenol cold® helps relieve your worst cold and flu symptoms. but for everything we do, we know you do so much more. tylenol cold®. whoa! sweet mother of softness. paws off pal. just one squeeze? just enjoy it with your eyes. [ female announcer ] new charmin ultra soft is so soft, you don't even have to squeeze it to believe it. for the first time, you can actually see the softness with our new comfort cushions. new charmin ultra soft is still so much softer and more absorbent, you can use up to four times less.
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we figured out our technical problems. joining me now is the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee, senator bob corker of tennessee. good morning. >> good morning. >> iran refuses to stop enriching uranium, a critical step to making nuclear weapons. is this a negotiation or is this actually a dead end? >> we'll see. the security council resolutions call for a complete stoppage, so we'll see. i think the concerns that we have, david, many of us, is, look, on these partial kinds of arrangements, exactly the kind that we have in north korea, you begin this dance we're seeing right now, so unless you do the whole deal on the front end, you, in essence, begin this
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series of steps that may well lead to iran getting to exactly the place they wish to get to while we relieve sanctions. so there are a lot of concerns. some of the same people that were involved in the negotiations with north korea are involved in these, and so you can imagine that congress that put these sanctions in place with the administration kicking and screaming all the way, pushing back against these sanctions, are very concerned that we're going to deal away the leverage that we have where we finally have iran willing to sit down and talk about these issues. >> so, senator, in the interim, there is going to be another meeting. these negotiations will continue on a freeze, just a temporary step before you get to a real negotiation. what are you and your colleagues going to do? do you think it's important to actually impose more sanctions, to impose more economic pain on iran before thinking about relieving those sanctions? >> well, you know, there is going to be a banking markup this week where sanctions are going to be looked at. that meeting has been called off by the democratic leadership. and senator kerry is going to be
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coming up this week and briefing. but i do want to say, david, when you use semantics like freezing, iran is still going to be enriching uranium based on what we see. so when they say freeze, that means they're not going to be gaining but they're still going to be enriching, so there are a lot of concerns. are they going to continue building the facility in iraq which produces plutonium? what are we going to do with the enriched uranium on the ground there? so there are a lot of details to look at sternly before we decide we're moving ahead. i do know on both sides of the capital, on both sides of the aisle right now, people are really looking at what the next steps ought to be. all of us want to see diplomacy, we do. we thank the secretary for the efforts he's putting forth. that is the best way to resolve this issue. but we're also concerned about an administration that seems really ready always to jump into the arms of folks and
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potentially deal away some of the leverage we have. so we'll be watching this. we want to see a good outcome. >> do you predict more sanctions before there is any kind of deal with iran? >> i don't know. you know, new sanctions, david, would not kick in for several months, and i think you've already seen that the administration has dialed back the rheostat since rouhani's election on the existing sanctions we have. they have a lot of ways to dial down these sanctions in different ways. i think this week sitting down and talking with secretary kerry will be an important element of what we do. i do think, again, there are concerns, especially again, david, a partial agreement leads us down the same path that we went down with north korea. where just to get people to act right as you move through these
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things, you continue to reduce sanctions. so, again, a lot of concerns about the approach. a lot of us want to see it resolved diplomatically. we know the sanctions got us here and we're worried we're dealing away our leverage. >> senator corker, we will be watching. thank you very much. >> thank you. joining me now republican governor of new jersey, chris christie. governor, welcome back to "meet the press." congratulations on your reelection. >> thank you, david, very much. happy to be back. >> a lot of speculation and a lot of excitement throughout the country with your reelection in terms of what it means. here's the cover of time magazine. the elephant in the room is what's on the cover. even, "four more years or two more years?" as it's crossed out, and saying you're getting ready to run for the white house. unless you want to announce on the show this morning, and i suspect you don't. let me ask you this question. how do you think, even as governor of new jersey, that you can affect, that you can impact the republican party with this reelection? >> i think the best way to impact my party is just to do my job in the same way that i've impacted my state.
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and i think, david, what you saw from the election results on tuesday is pretty simple. people want the folks they elect to get the job done, to do their job, get it done for the people who elect you. and that's why, you know, when you look at what happened on tuesday, it's about what's happened over the last four years. 143,000 new private sector jobs, cutting business taxes, controlling property taxes, reforming teacher tenure for the first time in 100 years and reforming a pension and benefits system to save $120 billion for the next 30 years for taxpayers. it's that kind of record that people were supporting on tuesday night, and i'm thrilled to get their support, and i'm ready to get back to work. >> but whether you like it or not, you've been thrust into a position where the face of the establishment wing of the party, ted cruz is the face of the conservative wing of the party. who wins this argument? mitt romney said you could save the republican party. does it need saving and are you the guy to save it? >> it was very nice of governor romney. i watched him on your program last week and i appreciate his
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kind words. i was a proud, proud supporter of governor romney and i consider mitt and ann very good friends. i'm not focused on that, david. i'm focused on doing my job in the state of nurchds. new jersey. that's what i ran for, that's what i want to do. i think what the election showed is if you want to attract a majority of the hispanic vote, if you want to nearly triple your african-american voters as a republican, what you need to do is show up. you need to show up in those places. david, i did a town hall in the city of irvington in my state about a year and a half ago. i got 4.7% of the vote in irvington in 2009. i went there, and there were more people in the church where i did the town hall than voted for me in 2009. you go and you show up and you listen. and you start to make your argument about your policies. and i think the results of the elections show that that's the kind of engagement we need as republicans all across the country. to listen and to show up in places where we haven't got a great amount of vote before.
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>> some of the skeptics would say you ran up a huge margin of victory, so, therefore, your margin among latinos and african-americans will be higher. and then head to head, if it comes to this, against hillary clinton in new jersey shows you would trail hillary clinton even in your own state. do you view that and say she's formidable, that you would be an underdog if it were to come to that? >> do you know how i view that, david? i got 61% of the vote in the state of new jersey in a blue state that had just reelected barack obama a year ago by 17 points. that was nearly a 40-point turnaround between voting for a democrat at the top of the ticket and voting for a republican. getting 51% of the hispanic vote, i'm very proud of that because i've worked hard with the hispanic community to let them see how our policies can help their families. i've worked hard with the african-american community. i've worked hard with seniors and students and all those people came out and voted in large numbers for us on tuesday. so people can say whatever they
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want, but the numbers speak for themselves. i'm proud of it and it's going to give me a mandate to go back to the work for the people of new jersey and finish the job. >> here's the question. are you a moderate or a conservative? here's how the blog in "first read" described that criticism. they write this. if christie does run for president, this is exactly the line of attack his republican rivals will pursue. this guy is not one of us. he's from new jersey. his state has legalized gay marriage. he's expanded medicaid and he's expressed some gun control and pro-immigration reform views. >> what's the question? >> are you a moderate or a conservative? >> david, listen. i don't get into these labels. that's the washington, d.c. game, and what all those men and women down there play. look at my record. we're spending less today in 2014 fiscal year than we did in 2008 in real dollars. we've cut business taxes by $2.3 billion. 143,000 new private sector jobs.
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reformed teacher tenure to put accountability in the classroom for the first time in 100 years and reformed a pension and benefits system and retirement pension in new jersey to save $120 billion for the taxpayers over the next 30 years. judge me by my record. that i'm very, very comfortable with. all the labels? that's for the folks in washington, d.c., and obviously they love playing that game, but the people of america aren't interested in that game. i think given the approval ratings in washington, they've shown that. >> yet the wall street journal about your economic record concluded this in an editorial on wednesday. it's the biggest disappointment, the state jobless rate is still 8.5%, among the 10 highest in the country. it's true he inherited a mess, but mr. christie will need a new reform agenda in 2014 to impress national gop voters in 2016. >> we're going to continue to do the job we've done already, david. we brought unemployment down by half, we created 143,000 private sector jobs in a state i do
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admit was an absolute mess. the highest taxed state in america when i got there and we've improved the situation. i never said the job was done. if the job was done, i wouldn't run for a second term. why bother? i would just ride off into the sunset. we have a lot of work still to do and we're going to continue to do it. that's why i asked for a second term and four more years, to continue to control spending, lower taxes, and continue to improve economic opportunity in our state. that's exactly what i'm going to do. >> on obama care, the president apologized about the promise that wasn't kept with the individual market. do you think obama care is doomed? do you think the republican party has an obligation to make it work at this point? >> listen, i think obama care was a mistake. i've said that right from the beginning. i think it's a failed policy. that's why we did not institute state-based exchanges, and you can see exactly why when you see the disaster that's happening right now. the fact of the matter is, the president didn't tell folks the truth about what was going to happen with their own private insurance policies. and what i urged him to do for
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the last two weeks when i've been on the campaign trail is tell people the truth. that's the thing they expect, and i think that's why we've gotten the support we've gotten in new jersey. whether it's good news or bad news, i tell folks in new jersey the hard truth they need to hear. even when they disagree with me, david, they've come around to support me because they say at least this guy is looking us in the eye and telling us the truth. i think the president failed that test, unfortunately, on obama care because that's unfortunate for the country. but i never have favored obama care. it's a failed policy. we all know that, and the fact is the president needs to own up to it and tell folks the truth. >> all right, governor chris christie. a lot more to come from you, i'm sure, as we move forward. we'll be watching you closely there in new jersey and beyond. thank you for your time this morning. i appreciate it. >> david, thanks for having me on. i appreciate it. and coming up here, president obama's apology over his obama care promise. is it enough? our roundtable joins me. joe scarborough, doris kearns
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goodwin, mark halperin and congresswoman donna edwards. plus harry smith with a "meet the press" video essay as we approach the anniversary of a special moment in american history. we're back after a short break. now it's your
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when we come back, the roundtable is here. a lot of politics to get to. plus those comments you just heard a few minutes ago from john kerry on the jfk
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meet the press is back with
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our political roundtable. here this morning, mark halperin, doris kearns goodwin, donna edwards and joe scarborough. now, david gregory. >> good morning. a lot to get to. chris christie and the future of the political party. joe, your book is coming out at an ideal time because the republican party is looking to the future. do they see chris christie in the center of it? >> i don't know if they do or not, but this week they've been saying are we chris christie republicans or cuccinelli republicans? we have to have both sides together. the day after the election, we were saying, who has the best foot forward? we have to have the ted cruz wing of the party and the edwards part of the party. there is a reason they won, and there is a reason they won
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against michael do you caulk uk that's because ted cruz was under the big tent. you're either fiscally conservative or you're a member of the tea party and you're too idealogically driven. this is not a kum ba ya talk, this is about winning. this is about how nick sabin wins football. >> this is really the thesis of your book and we'll focus on the book in a little bit. let's broaden this out. mark halperin, this is the fight in the two wings of the republican party. >> it's a huge fight and the parties have to sort it out. it has to be done by leaders. it can't be done by cable tv or twitter. chris christie is someone who is magical in the way politicians can be magical. people like having him on tv, he's a good talker.
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he won. joe said winning is what really matters. he loves to win. he's going to take over the republican association and see if he can win there. and he wants to be a leader to change the party. you can't say that about everybody else people are talking about for '16. >> the man i just lived with, theodore roosevelt, was in a similar position. maybe a different kind of idealogy than his party at the time. through the force of his personality, he dragged the republican party to deal with the issues that were created by the industrial age. similar in a certain way to some of the traits that chris christie has. he was a fighter, he was blunt, he had energy, he had a sense of knowing how to address complex issues and make them very simple, speak softly and carry a big stick, you know, special interests. square deal. that's kind of the way you got to do it but you have to say to your own party -- he would say to the lerepublican party, if y don't come with me on these issues, the republican party is
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going to be dead. >> meanwhile, congresswoman, as much as you might like these fissures in the republican party, democrats are dealing with health care and headlines that struck me over the weekend, "a white house in crisis mode but some allied prod for more action." in the column this morning he writes the following, a president famous for his unflappability, he is now struggling to square assurances that he is on top of the problems. >> first of all, i want to throw cold water on top of the chris christie thing. he won with 80% of the vote, so i'm not really sure how much it says about what need to happen nationally. then with health care, you know, the president has admitted we got to get it right. got to get that website going, got to get people signed up and deliver health care, but you know what? republicans in congress and republican governors have to stop standing in the way, and that's what they've been doing. >> in what way?
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it's -- >> not implementing medicaid, medical expansion. >> i know the government said it wasn't kathleen sebelius' job to make the website run right because they're not i.t. experts. you can't blame them for this botched launch. this botched launch is a self-inflicted wound by the president. it shows just how disconnected he's been, and he's undercut his best arguments for having a progressive, engaged federal government. and i think we're going to see not only is he going to continue to have i.t. problems on the website, he's also going to continue to have problems as we roll this out and we find out there are winners and losers in obama care. that's not a shock to us, but the president has been promising for four years we were going to get 31 million people on the new rolls and everyone is going to be happy. >> we're not even 30 days into the implementation yet.
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i know republicans want to deep-six this thing but it's not going to happen. the president will get this right. >> the article that talks about sticker shock, i don't think the republicans are running the editorial page of the l.a. times. you're also talking about the fact that the president made promises that ended up just not being true. that was not ted cruz's fault. >> what's sad to me is that for two weeks on one hand the democrats are saying, hooray, the republicans screwed up the government shutdown, right, it's good for us. now the republicans are saying, hooray, the president screwed up the rollout of obama care. the problem is people were hurt in both instances. people were hurt by the government shutdown, they're hurt by the rollout. what's happening to our country when we're cheering for the other side? >> the problem is the president did not tell the truth. >> here's what he told chuck todd about that broken promise, his first real apology for it.
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>> i am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me. we've got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we're going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this. >> mark halperin, is that enough? >> i try not to be hyperbolic and try not to judge things after 30 days. i think the president's term is in the balance here, not just fixing the website and giving people understanding of what this program is supposed to do. lower cost, expand coverage, make our health care system more rational than it was. i think the credibility of his entire presidency is on the line and the ability to work with republicans. it seems to me the president will be dealing with the republican house for the balance of his term. and if he cannot lower the temperature on health care, if he cannot find a way to work together with the other party in places on health care, i think this term is going to be very tough. >> here's a question that i have. we're focused on the politics of it, the liability.
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we know there will be a big issue in 2014. people i talk to, my viewers out there, i think, are also asking this. what happens if they don't meet the goals? what happens if the website does not get operational at some point? what happens to the ultimate goal of helping people that are supposed to be helped? is that question being answered? >> i think that's a legitimate question, and i think what you heard from the president is him saying, number one, it was my fault and people relied on it. but number two, we have an obligation to get this right not just because of the politics but precisely because otherwise people fall through the cracks and they don't have health care. and i think he has expressed that as a legitimate concern. i think he said to us and to the american people that he wants to get this right, and you know what? in my state i know that we have to for 450,000 people who don't have health care. >> the positive news coming out of this is the fact that we are going to have to get this right. the president is going to have to go to congress and he's going to have to work with republicans and democrats alike. the fact is, and david nations
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was on our show two weeks ago and he put it well. this is an overreach, he said, the president overreached not just politically but he overreached on substance as well. he tried to do too much with just democrats. we didn't even get -- >> don't you think republicans have an obligation to work with the president? >> yes, they certainly do. >> and they haven't been doing that. >> i try not to be partisan, i really try not to, and ask republicans, they will tell you, a long list of republicans on capitol hill will tell you i you can -- i succeed in not being partisan. the president made a decision in 2009 he was going to ram this down the republicans' throat. he was going to do it where he didn't get a single republican vote. he couldn't even get conservative democrats -- if you're talking about social security, ask doris will tell you this, if you're talking about medicare, if you're talking about any sweeping new plan that's going to transform
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things, you need both parties involved. >> with remaining time, i want to get to something else that's come up this morning and you heard it from the secretary of state. this is news, this is developing, but a little bit of history here as we approach the 50th anniversary of the assassination of president kennedy. you heard secretary kerry say he does not think lee harvey oswald acted alone. this was the headline in the "new york times" after the warren report was issued, and the real focus here was that he acted alone. that was the conclusion. it was an interview initially that secretary kerry gave with my colleague tom brokaw for a documentary about the assassination. we'll play a portion of that. >> to this day i have serious doubts that lee harvey oswald acted alone. i certainly have doubts that he was motivated by himself. i'm not sure if anybody else was involved. i don't go down that road with respect to the grassy knoll theory and all that.
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but i have serious questions about whether they got to the bottom of lee harvey oswald's time and influence from cuba and russia. >> doris? striking? >> it is stunning, actually. the interesting thing is i think it's hard for some people to think he acted alone because you want to believe there was some more meaning to the act. when something is random like that, i think that's why so many people search for something that must have been bigger. i remember my husband was talking to bobby kennedy in 1966, and he hardly ever said anything, my husband being richard goodwin, but all of a sudden he blurted out like senator kerry, if he didn't act alone, it was probably the mafia. >> bobby said that. >> bobby kennedy, yeah. that's where the conspiracy comes in, but it's fun to hear him say, without evidence. we like them to speak their minds. >> we're going to come back more with joe scarborough with the
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we're back and i'm here again with the host of "morning j joe" joe scarborough. he wrote a book called "the right path." i'm thrilled to be a first preview of this, joe, because the book is compelling and it's so on topic. >> i cover it all. government shutdown, the election. >> but you have a big idea in this book. and it is a path to winning that's based on pragmatism over idealogy. here's something you wrote in the book. you write, we have to stop electing amateurs in primaries who serve as little more than idealogical indulgences, who exploit resent mts that play well enough among the base but whose positions make them nonviable in general elections. you heard chris christie say this morning, it has to be a strategy that's about winning.
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>> it has to be about winning. >> more than the argument. >> more than the argument and it can't just be about idealogical indulgences. we can go through so many senate races in the past two elections and we time and time again have elected people that were amateurs, that weren't ready for prime time, that everybody knew were going to lose the general elections. it can't be about petty resentments anymore, we have to think bigger, we have to come up with a bigger agenda like reagan did, like i did, like we did in '94 when we got elected and took back the majority for the first time in the generation. but there also has to be an understanding that americans are conservative with a small c. they want someone who is idealogically conservative but also moderate temperamentally. ike was that way, reagan was that way. there was a reason we used to win 48 state landslides. >> is the argument just about compromise, is it just about
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moderation or is it about seeing the political reality that americans at some level want government to play a large enough role to solve big problems? >> right, and it's not about compromise. it's not even about idealogical moderation. it is, though, about political moderation. understanding that you've got to be relevant to the center of america. republicans -- people forget this. we used to be the party to beat. every four years, democrats would pull their hair out because they knew we were going to figure out how to reach the middle of america. now, during the cold war, we did that because people thought we were the strongest party to do that. during george w. bush's reelection in 2004 when democrats were sure they had him defeated. americans trusted george bush more. they thought he was at the middle of america more. we lost that. we lost that in 2008, we lost it in 2012, and i say this to my very conservative friends. we've got to figure out a way to move forward together or else we're going to have hillary clinton for two terms, and
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you're going to have barack obama and hillary clinton picking supreme court justices for six years and shaping the way that our federal government is run. that will transform government for 50 years. we've got to unite. >> the nominating wing of the party, which is the tea party phase right now, it is ted cruz right now, he gets huge -- >> that's not the nominating wing of the party. those are people that -- those sort of candidates we had in 2012, you see it all the time. they come out early on. the media loves to talk about them for a year and a half. they go out and do pretty well in iowa, they do pretty well in new hampshire, ask thnd then whe snow starts to fade away in iowa, the candidates start to fade away. they turn south and go back to the midwest and they never win. we've been battered for the last year and a half. forget their idealogy, they're political amateurs. i have some good friends that were at the center of this
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shutdown strategy. i disagreed with it not because of idealogy, just because it was dumb tactics. as i said to a good friend from texas, i said, that's like running up the middle in 4th and 31 because you think it makes you look like more of a man. no, you're going to lose. punt the ball. >> the book is "the right path" by joe scarborough. thank you so much for speakering with us. coming up here, a sacred moment in history. harry smith with the meaning of lincoln's speech at gettysburg@ñ
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we're back. it was a short speech. 272 words, to be exact, but it shaped a nation at a perilous time. nbc news correspondent harry smith on assignment for "meet the press" has a special report as we approach the 150th anniversary of the gettysburg address. >> we're at the evergreen cemetary in gettysburg, pennsylvania. president lincoln delivered the
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gettysburg address somewhere around here, probably right over there. of lincoln and the speech, the daily cleveland herald said he should not have said less. we do not believe any other man in the same number of words could have said more. gettysburg. a brutal three-day battle of incomprehensible carnage. until gettysburg, robert e. lee thought his army was invincible. when president lincoln spoke here five months later, the war's outcome was anything but certain. "four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." the gettysburg address is not so much a speech but a prayer, a reaffirmation of faith. now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so
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conceived and so dedicated can long endure. lincoln was speaking to all americans, but his remarks had even greater meaning for african-americans. scott hancock is an historian at gettysburg college. >> i think for african-americans, the gettysburg address becomes more important over time. african-americans then and since, they understood equality and freedom to be linked and to not just be legal freedom but that it meant the whole ball of wax. >> the emancipation probable cause -- proclamation had just been signed that january. lincoln had doubled down on the war for independence. the war had come down on his soul. lincoln said, the world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. president lincoln promised there
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is sanctity of the people who died. we have dedicated that field as the final resting place for those who gave their looifives the nation might live. and lincoln declares quite plainly that the dead left the living way greith a great responsibili responsibility. that from the dead we give increased motivation for those that gave us that motivation. that we resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under god should have a new birth under freedom. >> lincoln is giving rhetoric but he's living the reality of it as our americans then, what the cost is of not having freedom equality. we can use things like the gettysburg address and the civil war, what happens here in the battle, to understand what's involved, what we may be called to do at some point and ask the question, are we willing to do that? what are we willing to do to achieve freedom and equality?
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>> a new burst of freedom. rink on is invoking a kind of resurrection. he is praying that the war that broke the country in two, a war that will leave more than a half million americans dead is not the end of us but a new beginning, that this nation under god shall have a new birth of freedom and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. it is a prayer we still pray. for "meet the press," i'm harry smith. >> and, doris, you are still struck about how meaningful the speech was at the time when you really sit back and think about it. >> oh, there's two things about it. one is that he gave a story of our country and a meaning to that war that was understood by the people at the time. but more importantly, even, he set a maxim for what a free society should be. think of it, at that time there was still slaves in the south, blacks in the north couldn't be
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on juries, couldn't intermarry, women couldn't vote. he's saying when you have a government for the people, by the people, this is your standard. you're never going to reach it but you have to keep journeying and we're still on that journey today. >> the books are in stores now. thank you all for being here. that's all for today. we'll be back next week. in it's sunday, it's "meet the press." [ male announcer ] if you can clear a crowd but not your nasal congestion, you may be muddling through allergies. try zyrtec-d®. powerful relief of nasal congestion and other allergy symptoms -- all in one pill.
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